Ok- Big factual error on my part, in that the LA Times op-ed penned by Wilson was in 2004, not 2003. Thanks to the alert commenter who caught that. Egg on face, mea culpa, a thousand lashes with a wet noodle, and so on. Now, as to other specific problems with #9, this re-write should address them:
9.) After the Wilson op-ed appeared, there was a renewed focus on the pre-war WMD intelligence, and within the media at large, a heavy focus on the ‘sixteen words’ that appeared in the President’s State of the Union address. A little over a week after Wilson’s NY Times op-ed, Robert Novak’s 14 July 2003 column appeared, containing the following paragraph:
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. “I will not answer any question about my wife,” Wilson told me.
Wilson himself responded by publicly and appeared frequently on news shows and in other forums. He repeatedly attempted to rebut those seeking to discredit him, causing a perception that he was escalating the war of words. Contentiously, he stated during this period that his wife had nothing to do with his selection to go to Niger.
That is the re-write as of now. As for ten, let’s approach from a different angle:
10.) The time line is of crucial importance, and while the Novak story was not published until 14 July 2003, it hit the AP Wire on the 11th. Also on the 11th (11:07 am), Matt Cooper of Time sent the following email to his supervisor:
Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a “big warning” not to “get too far out on Wilson.” Rove told Cooper that Wilson’s trip had not been authorized by “DCIA”–CIA Director George Tenet–or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, “it was, KR said, Wilson’s [sic] wife, who apparently works at the agency on WMD (weapons of mass destruction) issues who authorized the trip.”
Also at some point during this short time period, the following (as described in the Washington Post), is reported to have taken place:
“Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak’s column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson’s wife. `Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,’ the senior official said of the alleged leak. A source said reporters quoted a leaker as describing Wilson’s wife as `fair game.'”
Ok- Review the re-write of #9, and examine the specific details of #10. If you agree with #10, but think there should be more specific informatioin that you are aware of, include it. If you disagree, explain why.
Also, where to go from here- should we continue with a brief chronological depiction of events, and then double back and iron out thornier issues (Wilson’s op-ed claims, the opinions about the intelligence then and now), or what? Let me know via e-mail what you think should be next.